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IP Indian Journal of Immunology and Respiratory Medicine

Predictors of pulmonary function in fire-fighters

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Author Details: Venkateswara Babu, Arun Babu Thirunavukkarasu, Kavita Vasudevan, Prakash Mathiyalagen

Volume : 2

Issue : 2

Online ISSN : 2581-4222

Print ISSN : 2581-4214

Article First Page : 50

Article End Page : 53


Introduction: Fire-fighters are at great risk of being exposed to intense smoke. This occupational hazard may have an effect on their pulmonary function, as observed in many studies. This study was done to identify various factors that predict pulmonary function among fire-fighters.
Methodology: All the fire-fighters of Puducherry region were recruited in our study after obtaining an informed consent. After enrolment, socio-demographic variables and anthropometric measurements were recorded in a pre-structured proforma, following which every participant underwent spirometry testing. The Spirometric parameters FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC ratio, PEF, FEF25-75 were recorded and the results were analysed.
Results: There was a statistically significant negative correlation between years of service and Spirometric values FVC, FEV1, PEF, and FEF 25-75 except FEV1/FVC (%). Out of a total of 115 fire-fighters, 87(75.7%) had a normal spirometry and 28(24.3%) showed evidence of obstructive airway disease (OAD). There was no statistically significant difference between fire-fighters with OAD and without OAD in terms of age, duration of service in the department, height, weight and body mass index (BMI). Among fire-fighters, the odds of having OAD was high for smokers, subjects with history of atopy and those who had recent history of wheeze and respiratory infection, compared to those without these risk factors. However the results were not statistically significant.
Conclusions: As the duration of service increases, there is a decline in the Spirometric parameters FVC, FEV1, PEF and FEF25-75, for all the fire-fighters. 28(24.3%) showed evidence of obstructive airway disease by spirometry. Age, duration of service in the fire department, height, weight and Body mass index may not be useful predictors that a fire-fighter would develop obstructive airway disease. However, longitudinal studies with large sample size are necessary for robust evidence.

Fire-fighters; FVC –forced vital capacity, FEV1-Forced expiratory volume in one second; OAD–Obstructive airway disease